Rebecca Ferguson has been told she's ''only good for entertaining'' because of the colour of her skin.

The 32-year-old star - who has forged an impressive career as a singer after her appearance on 'The X Factor' in 2010 - has opened up on shadeism, which is the discrimination against black women according to the darkness of their skin, and how it has impacted on her life and career.

Discussing the issue between people of colour on ITV show 'Loose Women', she said: ''I've had people say to me that I'm only good for entertaining, and that I will never have money or wealth, and that I'm just there for, like, a monkey in a cage. I've had that.

Rebecca's father is of Jamaican descent and her mother is white British and the musician revealed that when she was growing up she would come across skin lightening products in some of family's homes it makes her question her own approach to beauty because she does things like alter her hair to give herself a different appearance.

She explained: ''I've got an afro naturally, so it's hard. I find it hard to judge people for lightening their skin and things, for instance, when I myself have afro hair and now it's a blonde weave.

''I feel like generally as people we're never happy with who we are completely, and aesthetically we're always trying to be and do something that we're not.''

Rebecca insisted the only way that things could change would be through better representation of black women in the media.

She said: ''I think there is a deep rooted issue ... I think there's a huge responsibility for the media, me, us, to represent mixed race and black people as much as we can.''